Rich and Golden Homemade Chicken Broth

Stockpot of chicken, herbs, and vegetables before simmering for homemade chicken broth

Have you ever thought about making your own chicken broth? It is the base for many recipes, soup included, of course, and it is so much better when it’s homemade.

Broth is different from stock, in that broth can be made with or without bones and actually could be eaten by itself. Stock is made from roasted bones and is usually a component with other ingredients to make something else. Because I used whole chickens, including bones, in this recipe, it results in a gelatinous texture when it cools. The collagen in the bones dissolves and converts to gelatin and this process actually gives the broth more richness.

I loosely adapted this recipe from one by Ina Garten from her book, Barefoot Contessa at Home. This chicken broth truly is very easy to prepare, makes your kitchen smell comforting and fabulous, and will yield 8-9 quarts of broth that you can keep in the freezer until you need it.

Ingredients for homemade chicken broth on a cutting board: chickens, parsley, onion, garlic, carrots, celery, dill, thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns

Gather your ingredients. I got a 2-pack of chicken at Walmart, but you might be able to find it for a better price at Sam’s or Costco. I normally use whole carrots, but only had baby carrots on hand, and they worked just fine. You can add or eliminate anything you want to, depending on your likes and dislikes.

{On a side note, these ingredients are all about to be simmered together, so it doesn’t apply here, but never let raw meat come in contact with fresh vegetables, and use separate cutting boards when preparing them.}

Ingredients for Rich and Golden Homemade Chicken Broth

Measure everything out and give the vegetables a rough chop. Celery leaves and garlic and onion skins are fine to throw in, too, for added flavor and general earthiness.

Ingredients in a stockpot for Rich and Golden Homemade Chicken Broth

Place your chicken in a large saucepan. I use a 16 quart stockpot. Cover with vegetables and herbs. Fill with enough water to cover it and simmer for about 4 hours. Add more water as needed, and skim off any foam during the cooking process.

The colors of the herbs and vegetables are so beautiful. This will drastically change over the course of 4 hours, however.

Cheesecloth-lined colander inside a large bowl to strain chicken broth

When your broth is almost ready, get a large bowl and place a colander inside the bowl. Line the colander with cheesecloth. This catches any extra sediment that can form after simmering.

On a side note, a sad, but true story: When I made this the first time, I failed to place a bowl beneath the colander because I’m so accustomed to the solids being what I wanted to save. I mean, that’s typically the purpose of a colander, right? Well, that bowl plays an essential part in catching the broth, sooo, I might have poured a little bit of broth down the sink. I did realize what I’d done pretty quickly and rescued the rest. Hopefully my learning it the hard way will help you to not make the same mistake I did. Not that anyone else would do something like that.

Ladle ingredients from stockpot

After 4 hours, begin to ladle the contents into the colander, then pour it once the pot is light enough to lift.

Straining homemade chicken broth into cheesecloth-lined colander which is placed in a large bowl

As you can see, the vegetables aren’t as pretty after you’ve simmered the living daylights out of them. But fortunately for you, all of the beauty of the vegetables translates into a delicious broth. These solid leftovers are not fit to eat, by the way.

Storage containers filled with chicken broth in a large ice bath

Pour the broth into individual containers, really whatever size you need. Don’t fill it to the top so you can allow for expansion when they freeze. These quart containers are by Rubbermaid. I filled a clean sink with ice water and placed the containers in it to safely cool (to approximately 70°) before refrigerating or freezing.

Finished homemade chicken broth, labeled and dated

Label your containers and place them in the fridge or freezer. They will keep in the fridge for about a week and in the freezer for 6-9 months.

I estimate that the total cost for 9 quarts of broth was around $20, which is $2.22/quart (32 oz). It is so much better than ready made broth. Plus you know exactly what’s in it. Now you can use some of your broth in a recipe of Roasted Tomato Basil Soup.


Rich and Golden Homemade Chicken Broth

The Tasteful Baker (adapted from Ina Garten)
This lovely chicken broth is homemade from fresh and nutritious ingredients, and is very simple to make. You can freeze it for up to 9 months.
Prep Time 5 hours
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 9 hours
Course Soup


  • 2 whole roasting chickens
  • 3-4 onions unpeeled and quartered
  • 6 carrots unpeeled, or handful of baby carrots
  • 4 stalks of celery with leaves cut into thirds
  • 25 sprigs of parsley
  • 15 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 20 sprigs fresh dill
  • 4-5 bay leaves
  • 3-4 garlic cloves cut in half and unpeeled
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons whole peppercorns


  • Place the chickens in a large stockpot.
  • Cover with vegetables, herbs, and seasonings.
  • Add 9 quarts of water and bring to a boil.
  • Simmer uncovered for about 4 hours. Add more water as needed to cover vegetables.
  • Skim foam off the top as it simmers and discard.
  • Place a colander inside a large bowl and line the colander with cheesecloth.
  • Ladle contents into the colander and pour into storage container. I use quart size containers.
  • Discard all the solids.
  • Allow containers to cool in an ice water bath to approximately 70°.
  • Refrigerate for a week or freeze for 6-9 months.



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